Tuesday 23 / 5 / 2017 | 02:21

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The Harabish neighborhood: the overlooked neighborhood in besieged Deir Ezzor city

 

The Harabish neighborhood is the eastern entrance to the city of Deir Ezzor, and it is home to hundreds of besieged families. The neighborhood is besieged from all its parts: the front of the military airport east to it, Al-Sinaa front on its west, to the north there is the front of Al-Huwarqa and to the south, there is the mountain where Assad forces are positioned. Harabish neighborhood is divided into small neighborhoods such as Al-Dawud near Al-Jafra, Tib Harabish and Harabish. The Harabish is excluded and isolated from the center of the province, and the security situation is chaotic in the neighborhood as it can be easily targeted by ISIL artillery and mortar attacks.

 

This neighborhood has no passageway but only the route used by Assad forces. The opening of this route is dependent on the inactivity of the frontlines between the Assad forces and ISIL, in other words, only when the security situation is calm and when so it is open only for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

 

The neighborhood has been deprived of all human basic needs for more than a year. There is no power, no water and nothing is provided by the Assad regime to the residents in the neighborhood. We do not even know how 1000s of civilians residing in the neighborhood remain alive to the very moment, as the siege conditions in this neighborhood are worse than those in Al Joura and Al-Qosour neighborhoods. Civilians are pushed to bring water from the Euphrates river, transporting it with primitive means as carriage.

 

Concerning bread, there is only one oven 8 controlled by the regime) which sells one loaf of bread to civilians for 100 SYP. In regards to vegetables, they are sold at extremely high prizes, for example Zucchini (2000 SYP) and eggplant ( 17000 SYP ). Meat is sold at 12000 SYP and 1l of oil 5000 SYP, as well as 1kg of butter at 4000 SYP and 1kg sugar for 4000 SYP. One liter of fuel oil is 2000 SYP and 1l of gasoline is 4000 SYP.  During the beginning of the siege some families attempted to escape from the land road, but because of the presence of landmines many of them find it impossible to cross. In the beginning of the siege many civilians were killed as the only passageway consisted of landmines.

 

The regime remains the only beneficiary from this siege, as it has used it as means to intensify the pressure on civilians living in the neighborhood. It has forcibly conscripted many of them into its ranks. There is no other source of income for the civilians residing in the neighborhood but joining the Assad alternative militias.